Sunday, July 30, 2017
Did I mention how glad we were that Prasad changed our itinerary? It was wonderful to set no alarm. We were exhausted from our journey and slept in for as long as our bodies would allow. We ambled down to the main lodge and and ate a fabulous breakfast with two pots of coffee.
We started with fresh fruits and fruit juice.
Greg and I both had mung bean curd with curry.
Genene stuck to a more traditional breakfast, and I didn’t waste a photo on it.
Here’s the view of the gardens from the dining area.
We took a stroll past the pool. It’s too bad we didn’t have enough time to take a swim.
Our hotel suite was gorgeous. We decided to leave the garland and flowers on the beds since we knew they wouldn’t travel well.
Genene’s room was lovely too. I was sorry we couldn’t stay longer but am sure there will be other nice places along the way.
We left our hotel at noon. Prasad and another driver met us to take us to the airport. Dinesh drove ahead to Sigiriya in the van so that he could pick us up after our flight. Our 25 minutes in the air will be his 4 hours on the road. The traffic is a hoot to watch. Buses, tuk-tuks, motorcycles, bicycles, trucks, cars and vans all share a two-lane road. it looks like chaos, but there is method in it. Everyone is quite cooperative, and they move a lot more people down the road on two lanes than we do in the States.
We arrived at the airport promptly at 1:00 PM. We were flying on Cinnamon Air. The “terminal” consisted of a small building. We went inside and they opened our bags and looked through them (no X-rays), checked our passports and made us walk through a metal detector.
Here’s the gate area:
Our chariot awaits:
There was just us and one other couple aboard the small Cessna. There were two co-pilots. They both wore shorts and one of them had on no shoes. We wondered what their stories were but didn’t ask. After we got buckled up, one of them stuck his head in the back door and said, “Good afternoon. I am Steve. We’ll be in the air for about 25 minutes. Keep your seat belts on the whole time. There are life vests under your seat, but you won’t need them. That’s it.” He shut the door, hopped in the front seat, and we were off.
I’ve ridden small planes a couple of times in my life and always found them to be fun. You really know you are flying, as opposed to a jet, which feels like speeding along in a tube. The ride was bumpy, and it made me a little queasy.
Genene was excited at the beginning.
Anything that moves has a soporific effect on Genene. That has been true since she was a baby. When she was fussy, we used to put her in the car and take a drive. The drives are just a little different now.
You can see how this water reservoir is being used to irrigate the nearby fields.
Sigiriya is the big rock on the right.
We got a great view as the plane banked for landing.
The runway was bumpy!
The plane came to a stop, and Steve said, “I think this is it.” He popped open the door and we stepped out.
The fire truck was standing by, just in case.
Prasad must have contacted Dinesh on the way because he was rolling up just as soon as we got off the plane. It was pretty easy to spot him.
It was a short ride to our resort at Vil Uyana. We were greeted with cold towels and fruit juice. Check-in was easy, and we went straight to lunch. I took a photo of the view, not realizing at the time that the “hut” in the middle was to be ours.
We had the option of going to Dambulla Caves but it was already fiery hot and Prasad told us that we could easily see them on the drive to Kandy in a couple of days. We were happy to accept this change in itinerary because it meant we could have an afternoon of leisure. We still feel pretty jet-lagged.
Greg always likes to try the local beer, so he ordered up a Lion. The bottle was bigger than he was.
We ordered something called “Go Sri Lankan” and it was a great start. The food is spicy and flavorful and is very much like Indian cuisine.
At least we were “decent” with dessert and ate a plate of fresh fruit.
We got settled into our room. Greg napped. Genene was thrilled to have fast wifi and spent all her time laying in bed watching Youtube videos and giggling. I let her. It’s her vacation too. I worked on the blog.
Our accommodations are lovely. Downstairs, we have a private swimming pool outside. Inside the door, we have a lily pond, a sunken tub, two sinks, a walk-in shower, and a toilet. The toilet is a little bizarre to me because it has no door on it and it faces toward the tub and sink area. There is a distinct lack of privacy. It reminds me of a recurring dream of mine. In it, I am always desperately looking for a toilet but the only ones that are available are out in public or in the middle of a street or something bizarre like that. Usually that dream signals that I have to go to the bathroom in real waking life. Anyway, enough about my weird psyche. Let’s go upstairs.
Upstairs is the only air conditioned portion of the suite. It’s a large room with beds for all of us and two balconies that overlook the pool. There is also a toilet with a door on it (whew!), so at least I can go to the restroom at night without sitting on the open throne downstairs.
The room comes with sarongs, and I spent some comical moments trying to learn to tie one. I didn’t allow any photography, and the end result can best be described by the words of my father: “Looks like two cats rassling in a tow sack.”
We walked back down to the lodge for dinner. We all had on shorts and felt distinctly underdressed. There are a lot of Brits on holiday here, and apparently they like to dress for dinner. The staff didn’t seem to hold our casual attire against us and treated us graciously. Greg ordered a chicken curry, and all the accompaniments looked the same as lunch. That was okay with him! Genene had a bowl of spicy chicken soup. I had a honey-soaked pork that was sweet and delicious. Genene was tired, so she and I walked home early while Greg stayed back and finished his Lion porter. He caught a golf cart ride home and was only a few minutes behind us.
The turndown service includes putting up the mosquito nets. Genene happily wasted the remainder of the evening “Youtuberating.”
Our bed was beautifully turned down, with the words “GOOD NIGHT” spelled out in fresh leaves.
Our day will start early tomorrow. We climb Sigiriya after dawn.